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PNP told: Justify P1-b war budget

THE Philippine National Police must justify the P1-billion request for is “tokhang” operations, said Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto.

‘‘Where does the PNP get its financial ammo for the conduct of tokhang, of both the legal and the lethal kind?” Recto said Sunday. 

For 2018, the administration is asking for P900 million for the implementation of its Oplan Tokhang anti-drug campaign, which was renamed Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded.

“In the House and in the Senate, the budget hearings will provide an opportunity for oversight, which could answer a very critical question: What are the sources of funds for this nationwide operation?” Recto said.

Before Congress will reload the anti-drug campaign with funds, it must ask the Philippine National Police how the plan will be carried out, Recto said. 

“It should not write a blank check,” he said.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto
The administration is asking for a P20-billion increase in the PNP budget for next year, to P131.5 billion. 

“What is this budget for? What are the targets?” Recto asked.

He also said he would ask the PNP Internal Affair Service how it would use the P731-million budget for next year.

“The IAS is the tripwire of abuses and the whistleblower of bad deeds. Is it doing its job?” Recto said.

Recto also said there was a need to review the PNP budget for damage done to private property and injury and death of civilians in police operations.

“I expect that the review of the events on that fateful night in Caloocan which led to the death of a young man will be pursued on many fronts,” said Recto, referring to the killing of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos in a police operation in Caloocan City.

In the House, Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles said the Delos Santos killing must not trigger a slash in the PNP budget for 2018 since this would impede the war on drugs.

While he joined calls to seek justice for the Delos Santos family, he said the government campaign against illegal drugs must not be jeopardized by the acts of abusive and irresponsible policemen. 

Topics: Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto , Philippine National Police , Oplan Tokhang anti-drug campaign
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